Multiple B1G teams had a shot to pull off upsets tonight, while others played their final cupcake team before heading off to a preseason tourney. How did it all shake out?
Game of the Night: Indiana vs. #22 SMU
Larry Brown took his Mustangs into hostile territory for the second time this week, and Assembly Hall proved to be just as unkind as McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane as the Hoosiers won 74-68. SMU jumped out to a 22-10 lead early on, but the Hoosiers were able to regain their composure and take a 5-point lead into halftime. Led by freshman James Blackmon, IU was able to use outside shooting and 80% FT shooting to hold on and regain control after a strong second-half opening by SMU. Indiana was also able to limit turnovers on offense, giving up only 7, after averaging 16 in the first two games.
This win is huge for the program and coach Tom Crean. The Hoosiers are a step closer to putting their preseason issues behind them and to returning to the NCAA tournament. Not only was this the first quality opponent for IU, it was also the first real test of their small lineup against a team with size and they passed. Winning is the only thing that is going to stem the tide of hot seat rumors in Bloomington. Indiana's next big test will be in the B1G/ACC Challenge against Pittsburgh.
Iowa vs. #10 Texas
The Hawkeyes were unfortunately not able to give the B1G a second upset victory on the night. Playing in MSG as part of the 2K Classic, Iowa was able to take 30-24 in the first half. The second half was all Longhorns however, Jonathan Holmes scored 17 points after the break and Texas was able to cruise to a 14-point victory. Iowa was led by Aaron White's 23 points and 8 rebounds, but poor shooting ultimately doomed the Hawkeyes as they struggled to a paltry 29.6% from the field. Iowa now draws #23 Syracuse in the consolation game tomorrow after the Orange lost to Cal in the other semifinal game.
Penn State vs. Charlotte
D.J. Newbill scored a career-high 35 points and Penn State erased a 17-point deficit to send the game into overtime, but the Nittany Lions ultimately lost in a second extra period 106-97. Playing in the Charleston Classic in South Carolina, the 49ers move on to play the Gamecocks in the semifinals while PSU will meet Cornell in the consolation round. Penn State showed a ton of fight in tonight's game and will have their resolve tested again tomorrow by having to play so soon after such a long and difficult game.
Northwestern vs. North Florida
The Wildcats need a score in the closing seconds to hold on against the Ospreys. Tre Demps hit the game-winning shot and scored 15 off the bench for Northwestern in the first of two Cancun Challenge games at home before bracket play in Mexico on Tuesday. Chris Collins' team trailed by five late in the second half and needed help from freshman Bryant McIntosh and Demps to hold on. It is worth noting that North Florida lost 81-56 to South Carolina in their first game this season.
#24 Michigan vs. Detriot
No team wants to give up 24 points to one player, but especially not when that player is a legacy. Juwan Howard Jr. led the Titans in ill-fated upset bid of his father's alma mater. Detriot kept it close for much of the game and even tied it with less than 9 minutes left, but the talent of Michigan's current stars proved to be too much to handle down the stretch. LeVert, Irvin and Walton finished with 21, 18 and 16 as the Wolverines held on to win 71-62.
Purdue vs. Grambling State
Grambling State has been one of the worst teams in D1 for a couple of years now, and appears to be headed for another bottom of the barrel season. Freshman Vince Edwards, the star of the Boilers first two games had a quite night offensively with only two points. Instead, classmate Isaac Haas led the team with 17 points, shooting 6-8 from the field and 5-7 from the line. The Tigers had nearly as many turnovers (27) as points (30), highlighting what was a stellar defensive performance for Matt Painter's team. Next Monday the Boilers get their first real test in Maui against Kansas State, and former Purdue assistant Bruce Weber.
Maryland vs. Fordham
The Terrapins became the second straight B1G team to defeat Fordham, after the Rams loss to Penn State on Sunday. Maryland had a bit of an off night shooting, but Fordham was even worse, shooting a dreadful 30.6%. The real difference came from the Terps ability to get to the line however, shooting 16-27 compared to Fordham's 5 makes on 8 attempts. Maryland next takes on Arizona State in Kansas City as part of the CBE Hall of Fame Classic.
Minnesota vs. Franklin Pierce
14th President of the United States, Franklin Pierce is considered one of the worst commander-in-chiefs in the history of the country. He served a single term and his support of pro-slavery legislation led to a stark decline in approval by the end of his time in office. Also, in 1962 a college was founded in his name in New Hampshire and on November 20th, 2014 their Division II basketball team was routed by Minnesota 109-57. The Golden Gophers play Maryland-Baltimore County on Saturday before the NIT Season Tip-Off next week.